Peter Cozzens, author or editor of 16 critically acclaimed books on the American Civil War and the American West, talks about his upcoming book, The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, on Tuesday, September 20, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The talk takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Center’s Coe Auditorium and is free to the public.
A Penguin Random House volume, The Earth is Weeping is published by Alfred A. Knopf and is set for its official release on October 25, 2016, when it will be available for purchase in the Museum Store. The book has already been picked as a main selection of the History Book Club, and a Featured Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild, Library of Science, and One Spirit Book Club (October 2016).
With the Civil War behind them, pioneers headed West once again. When they infringed on traditional Indian tribal lands, they triggered wide-ranging conflict that lasted more than three decades. As the action moves from state to state, a veritable pageant of fascinating characters happens on the scene including Custer, Sherman, Grant, and a host of other military and political figures, as well as great native leaders such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. “For the first time, The Earth Is Weeping brings them all together in the fullest account to date of how the West was won—and lost,” the publisher says.
All of Cozzens’s books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and/or the Military Book Club. Civil War Magazine chose a pair of the author’s books as two of the 100 greatest works ever written on the conflict. At the same time, he writes for America’s Civil War, Civil War Times Illustrated, MHQ (Military History Quarterly), and Smithsonian, among other publications, and was a frequent contributor to the New York Times “Disunion” series.
Cozzens recently retired from the U.S. State Department where he served as Special Assistant to the Historian of the Department of State. In 2002, he received the American Foreign Service Association’s highest award, given annually to one Foreign Service Officer for exemplary moral courage, integrity, and creative dissent.
“The uninterrupted succession of armed conflicts between the U.S. army and Indians on the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains from the 1860s to 1890, with fatalities mounting into the thousands, was truly America’s longest and most tragic war,” James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom, observes. “In sobering detail, Peter Cozzens has chronicled this dark chapter in our history.”
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.